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Miami Dolphins

Mailbag: Week 9 Dolphins at Bears

The Dolphins look to make it three straight wins with another road trip to an NFC North town when they travel to Chicago Sunday to take on the Bears. A win would give Miami a 6-3 start through nine games for just the second time since 2002. That, along with the new additions of outside linebacker Bradley Chubb and running back Jeff Wilson Jr., have generated quite a buzz in South Florida. 

Each Thursday, we put out the call for questions on Twitter. We choose three every week to be answered on the mailbag, as well as three for the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield and three more here on the written mailbag.

Question from @yaboyturo – Does the addition of Bradley Chubb change the way Boyer schemes defenses and if so how?

A: It does from the standpoint that it increases the Dolphins flexibility and versatility. Bradley Chubb can play multiple positions – including his bread and butter edge rushing prowess from a two-point stance – which made him a household name in Denver.

With a weekly game-plan approach, the Dolphins increased their ability to A.) Win more three-and-four-man pass rush situations and, B.) Dial up exotics to maximize the combination of size and athletic prowess Chubb features. He measured in the 87th percentile or better in the vert, broad jump, 40-yard dash, and 10-split back in his 2018 pre-draft workout. He can execute a variety of rush games against the pass and play a hard edge against the run. When he's been healthy, he's been an 80-plus percent snap-taker, so he's really game for anything.

Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Josh Boyer addressed this very topic on Thursday.

"I think it's dependent on how you feel about your matchups week to week and what you feel like the offense is doing to you on how you use guys and where you put them," Boyer said. "I think that's kind of – is it advantageous? Again, you can get a sack on a three-man rush, or you could rush eight and have really good coverage in the back end. It goes hand-in-hand, but I would say it opens up a lot more avenues to you from a coverage perspective when you can rush with four."

Question from @FinzWinz – What are the Dolphins getting in Jeff Wilson?

A: A back who has proven himself within this very system. A player who brings an element of physicality and toughness to the backfield. He can catch routes over the middle, out wide and help the quarterback in pass protection. His touchdown and first down production really stands out. On 435 career touches, he's amassed 19 total touchdowns and 113 first downs – that's a conversion rate of 30.3 percent.

"He's a guy that is magnetic," Head Coach Mike McDaniel said. "He's very focused on football, has a nature of playing football that I think help or affects his teammates in a positive manner. He's a physical guy that you can count on to bring that physicality and tone sets in that regard. Great teammate. And he's a guy that doesn't – you always really gravitate towards people that expect nothing given to them and enjoy the process of earning stuff, and that's the way he's always been."

Question from @elongoria66 – What, in your opinion, do the Dolphins need to do to stop Justin Fields on Sunday?

A: It starts with the running game for the Bears. They are leading the league in rushing and no trio of teammates have forced more missed tackles than Fields and running backs David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. They are a physical running team who will attach extra tight ends to the formation, run behind a fullback and utilize Fields' athletic prowess to factor in both as a designed run ball carrier and on scrambles.

Containing Fields to the pocket and winning the majority of early down runs would go a long way to keeping the Bears under 20 points on Sunday.

For more, check out the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield, available five days a week on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. The Twitter mailbag thread will go up every Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

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